What is a cashier? Everything you need to know

Last updated: July 15, 2024
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Jennifer Young
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What is a cashier? Everything you need to know
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There are approximately 3,600,900 cashiers in the U.S. Working as a cashier is a good first job because the positions are often entry-level.

By working as a cashier, you can gain valuable experience for your resume and make money while still in school. Or you can start your career as a cashier and take advantage of opportunities for future promotions.

But what does a cashier do? What are the most common cashier duties? And what skills and experience do you need?

In this article, we’ll show you the top cashier job responsibilities, how much a cashier makes, and what to include in your resume when applying for this type of job.

What is a cashier?

Cashiers work behind the cash register. You can find them in various retail settings, including supermarkets, gas stations, and fashion stores.

Cashiers work full-time or part-time, and they may need to be available on the weekend. Most cashiers learn on the job and have supervision from a senior team member. They need to know how to accept cash and card payments, scan items, and bag products.

The job can be busy during peak shopping periods, and it may involve long hours standing on your feet.

If you're interested in applying for a job as a cashier, you can browse cashier jobs in your area on Jobcase.

What are the top cashier job responsibilities?

Retail cashiers play an important role in any store. Here are five responsibilities you might find on a cashier job description.

1. Handling cash and payments

Checkout areas usually include a cash register and a point-of-sale (POS) system.

Experienced cashiers know how to use the cash drawer, and they can process any accepted payments, such as cash, debit cards, credit cards, and gift cards.

Cashiers can't always rely on technology and may need to use their math skills to calculate payments or refunds.

At the end of their shift, a cashier may need to balance the cash drawer.

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​2. Scanning items

When customers reach the counter, they unload their shopping items. The cashier needs to scan each item carefully.

Sometimes an item won't scan correctly, so the cashier will need to enter the barcode manually. If there's no barcode, they may need to call another staff member for a price check. The price of some items is dependent on their weight. The cashier will have to enter the product code and weigh the item to get a final price.

If it's a grocery store, there may be multiple items to scan. To make this process run smoothly, the cashier will usually make sure the work area is clear and tidy.

3. Bagging groceries

Once they've scanned the items, the cashier may need to place them into bags. If it's a grocery store, the cashier will have training on how to bag the right way. For example, heavy items should be at the bottom, and cold produce should be placed together.

Or, if it's a retail store, the cashier may fold clothing, wrap jewelry, or place goods in a shopping bag.

While they're packing the bags, the cashier will use their communication skills to chat with the customer.

4. Assisting customers

Customer satisfaction is a top priority in retail stores. Cashiers need to use their interpersonal skills to assist customers.

For example, they may need to help customers with pricing queries, or they may need to help them find a specific item.

Cashiers may need to share their product knowledge with a customer or offer a recommendation.

A positive attitude is essential for this role, as there may be customer complaints to deal with.

5. ​Issuing receipts

The cashier will issue receipts before customers leave the store. Most receipts are printed, but some cashiers will need to write them manually.

They’ll also need to make sure there's enough paper and ink to print a receipt. If there's a problem with the printer, the cashier will need to use their problem-solving skills to fix it.

Cashiers need to know how to read a receipt in case there's an error or a customer wants a refund.

What skills and experience do you need to be a cashier?

If you think you’d enjoy working as a cashier, you'll need a few basic skills. You'll need to have excellent customer service, basic math, and time management skills.

You'll need to be friendly and detail-oriented and be comfortable working in a team. Cashiers may have flexible schedules, and you may need to be available for overtime or weekend work.

Most positions are entry-level, but some hiring managers would like you to have a high school diploma or GED. You'll need to meet the minimum age requirements for a job in your state, which is usually 16 years old.

If you have existing cashier skills or experience in customer service industries, you can increase your chances of getting a job.

Once you have a few years of experience, there’s the potential to become a store leader or manager.

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How much does a cashier make?

Cashier wages can vary depending on the company and your age, location, and experience. The median annual salary for a cashier is $25,020, or $12.03 per hour.

Cashier resume tips

Before you apply for a job as a cashier, read our top cashier resume tips:

  • Include any cash handling or cashier experience

  • Focus on soft skills, such as customer service and teamwork

  • Write your cover letter to match the criteria in the job ad

  • Proofread your resume and check for any spelling and grammatical errors

  • List your work experience in chronological order

  • Use bullet points to highlight your competencies

  • Include education or volunteer work if you don’t have any previous work experience

  • Make sure your contact details are up to date.

You can start with these professional resume templates, or you can try the resume builder in your Jobcase profile.

Where can you find a job as a cashier?

Because cashiers work in so many settings, there are usually numerous openings across the country at any given time. Companies advertise positions regularly, and most require no experience.

We've made the job search easy. You can browse local cashier jobs on Jobcase’s job board.

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Applying for a job as a cashier

By now, you know that cashiers work behind the cash register in a range of retail workplaces.

In this article, we told you about some of the top cashier responsibilities. Our list includes handling cash, scanning items, bagging groceries, assisting customers, and issuing receipts.

And we explained some of the skills you'll need to be successful. For example, you'll need to create a positive customer experience and have close attention to detail.

Finally, we gave you an estimate of how much you can earn and shared our top tips for your resume.

Want to see all of the jobs in your area? Start your search on Jobcase.

Before you apply, make sure you take a look at the Getting Hired Resource Center for interview tips, career advice, and resume templates.

1 Comment


Stacy Pierce
Bullet point

Good to know!! Thank you.